The Globe Reaching For The Light with King King
Opening tonight to a sell-out crowd at The Globe in Cardiff was Laurence ‘call me husky’ Jones, carrying on like the trooper despite a sore throat. It was a warm welcome from the many Laurence fans who still remember the young boy who played and delighted Cardiff many years ago. With a new drummer Phil Wilson and bassist Roger Innis this was going to be blues all the way from the dim blue light semi-illuminating the stage (The Globe is currently having the lighting updated). The set saw Laurence opening with a baritone guitar adding another weapon to his guitar driven blues armoury. This was a short set in which Laurence fitted a basket full of blues vibes. Within the set we were treated to All I Need off his current CD, What’s It Gonna Be. Good Morning Blues, a legendary Leadbelly number that Laurence played earlier in the year on stage at Carnegie Hall for the Leadbelly festival was the stand-out number for me, and the set was closed with a tribute to the late great BB King. Less singing tonight and more guitar blues breaks was welcomed by many and definitely warmed the atmosphere ready for the mighty King King.
It was richly deserved that King King who have travelled many miles and played at gigs when a few dozen people have loyally turned up, know that the fruits of their valiant efforts have been rewarded they are a name that people travel to see not once but as often as possible on a tour. The cheers were warm and full of delighted anticipation as the jammed-to-the-rafters venue welcomed King King on stage. We were delighted that the kilted scot Alan Nimmo and his band of musical boys were back in town. We have the albums but King King live have a verve and an irresistible charm of rock that kicks the blues out of your soul.
Opening with Lose Control, the audience may have been at fever pitch King King just played on with controlled passion that filled the rafters of The Globe with a warm sound. Alan Nimmo out front throughout the evening displayed the twin talents that make him such a superb front-man. His guitar playing was at times raw, then gentle and always sweet. Then he opens his mouth and his tenor delights as the words are caressed and formed by his silvery tongue. The emotion is added to lyrics that make you want to rock n’ roll. Cry and sigh he nailed every song tonight. His confidence is high having been opening with the band for among others Thunder and John Mayall; this he uses to great effect. The crowd warms to his cheeky smile and tales he had the Welsh audience singing loudly and with delight he even said we had the job. King King like all great bands is more than the sum of the total parts. To Alan’s left is the mighty Bob Fridzema on keys and Hammond C3 he produces a wall of sound that adds another tonal layer of chords. His playing can be intense and then on other tracks gentle, a subtle whisper, adding hidden depths. To his right Lindsay Coulson, with his trademark dark blue bass and King King embellished strap; an evergreen presence who has shared every moment of King King’s journey. Sitting behind his Ludwig drum kit sits the awesome pivotal force Wayne Procter and his drumming. He adds a deep beating tone and texture to King King. What a quartet! With each year a new signature arises from the set list and at the moment it is Rush Hour from their current album Reaching for The Light. The whole set was a standout – Frankie Miller’s Jealousy full of emotional control as Alan combines guitar work that zings and his vocals purr and curl around the six-strings. Tonight, You Stopped the Rain was dedicated not to his older brother Stevie Nimmo, but his mother who is poorly in hospital. Everyone at the Globe sent speedy recovery wishes. Rather than go through the set list which is below it was the atmosphere that King King live creates that is what makes them a must see band in 2016. The instrumental included in the set was a fantastic addition. Having Bob to open and lead the tempo adding some funky chords, subtle jazz interludes then back into rocking good blues. All four had fun following the path Bob was musically leading them and gave the instruments a moment to shine above Alan’s vocals. Live music will always have a special frisson of energy and emotion. King King delivers this live energy that is plugged directly into your musical antenna and sends shivers of delight up your spine and deep into your soul and memory. They manage to make you dance, laugh and cry and have a thoroughly great time.
As King King’s reputation grows and the expectation of the audience before a note is struck rises they have to continue to grow and showcase the music that will keep everyone coming back for more. Tonight King King surpassed expectations they were on fire, the selection of tracks from across their career fitted the bill, leaving us wanting more and counting down the days when they are back on a stage so we can hear King King live, sparkling and full of blues in their soul that has the edge of rock to spice it up.
Lose Control (King King Album – Take My Hand)
Wait On Time – Thunderbirds
Waking Up (King King Album – Reaching For The Light)
Rush Hour (King King Album – Reaching For The Light)
Long History of Love (King King Album – Standing in the Shadows)
More Than I Can Take (King King Album – Standing in the Shadows)
You stopped The Rain (King King Album – Reaching For The Light)
Jealousy (King King Album – Standing in the Shadows)
Crazy (King King Album – Reaching For The Light)
All Your Life (King King Album – Take My Hand)
Stranger Love (King King Album – Reaching For The Light)
Encore – Let Love In (King King Album – Standing in the Shadows)